American Rifleman - September 2017 - 60

6.5 MM CREEDMOOR

continued from p. 59

The basic problem is the different roles for which
the two cartridges were developed, and the bullet
styles best-suited to fulfill those roles. The .260 Rem.
was always intended to be a sporting cartridge, and
was designed to maximize case capacity behind 120-gr.
to 140-gr. hunting-style bullets. In this role, it really
does excel. However, it possesses a few characteristics
that limit its potential for long-range precision shooting. First, the .260's case has a lot of body taper and a
relatively shallow shoulder, qualities that can introduce
a small degree of principal axis tilt-misalignment
between the projectile and bore. Also, the .260 has a
comparatively short neck, a quality that causes longer,
heavier bullets-like those preferred for precision shooting-to be seated deep inside the case, which in turn
decreases the space available for propellant. By contrast,
the 6.5 Creedmoor case has minimum body taper and a
30-degree shoulder which helps the cartridge "center
up" inside the chamber. Too, it has a longer neck, meaning heavier bullets, including Hornady's javelin-like 147-gr.
ELD Match, do not encroach as far into the case.
Don't misunderstand, the .260 Rem. is not an "inaccurate" design. Indeed, it can be superbly accurate, and
I'm sure there are readers right now measuring groups to
prove that case. It's even worth mentioning that Sgt. Sherri
Gallagher, USA, won the 2010 NRA High Power championship with the .260 Rem. (2396-161X). But the fact is, the
.260 was not originally intended for long-range precision
6.5 MM CREEDMOOR

0.295" 0.264"

30°

0.473" 0.470"

0.462"
1.490"
1.635"
1.920"

2.825"

shooting, and therefore the overall design was not optimized
for accuracy at extended ranges. The 6.5 Creedmoor, on the
other hand, was designed exactly for that pursuit.

Early Adopters

In 2006, Emary was ready to show Demille the initial
designs, and in 2007 Hornady officially introduced the
6.5 mm Creedmoor cartridge-so named both for Demille's
long-time employer, Creedmoor Sports, and for the historic Creedmoor range in Long Island, N.Y., where the first
national rifle matches were held. Two loads were initially
produced, pushing 120- and 140-gr. A-Max bullets at around
2,900 f.p.s. and 2,700 f.p.s., respectively. And, yes, the recommended reloading data was printed on the box's label.
The first gunmaker to adopt the 6.5 Creedmoor in a
commercial offering was DPMS, then helmed by Dustin
Emholtz and Randy Luth, and the gun was an AR-10-style
rifle. Davies fondly recalls that so strong were the personal
relationships involved (again, the right people) that DPMS
agreed to build rifles after "only one phone call." Ruger
followed very shortly after, and was the first large-scale
manufacturer of 6.5 Creedmoor-chambered guns, first
introducing an M77 Hawkeye Varmint Target rifle which
featured a heavy-contour 28" barrel, followed by a No. 1
Varminter model. Of course, smaller makers and custom
shops, especially those catering to the competition crowd,
were also fast out of the gate with 6.5 Creedmoor offerings,
and the early success of the new cartridge was writ large on
the score sheets of countless rifle matches.
Despite storming the competition circuits, the 6.5
Creedmoor failed to win widespread acceptance by
American hunters during its first years of production. It's
worth noting that the cartridge received some help in that
department when Hornady introduced its Superformance
line of ammunition, which included a 6.5 Creedmoor load
topped by a 120-gr. GMX bullet with a published velocity
of more than 3000 f.p.s. The monolithic GMX bullet-originally gilding metal, now a copper alloy-proved to be a

Accuracy Afield
continued from p. 59

both proud and relieved that-thanks
to good shooting and excellent bullet
performance-not a single animal was
left wounded, or even had to be tracked.
My shots ranged from 100 yds. to
515 yds., with an average of 280 yds.
The species taken included springbok,
red hartebeest, oryx (gemsbok), a blue
wildebeest and a Burchell's or common
zebra. Generally, I used the 120-gr.
GMX on the hardier game, including the
wildebeest and zebra, and kept those
shots within 200 yds. to ensure good
penetration and reliable expansion-
both of which are facilitated by higher

60

velocity. Shots beyond 200 yds. were the
realm of the 143-gr. ELD-X, which has
the endearing characteristic of expanding reliably at virtually any hunting
distance. Results with both bullets were
fantastic, and I've included a sampling
of data and recovered projectiles to
illustrate their performance (p. 61).
Missing from my larger collection (p. 62)
are most of the GMX bullets, which generally passed through their targets and
were unrecoverable.
As the hunting drew to a close,
Davies and I gave our professional
hunters, as well as the property
SEPTEMBER 2017

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

manager and his teenage son, the
chance to shoot the Bergara and
experience the 6.5 Creedmoor. To a
man, each rose from the bench smiling
and marveling at their own accurate
shot placement. They were amazed
that such a soft-shooting cartridge was
capable of producing a through-andthrough, one-shot harvest on a zebra.
Immediately inquiries were made about
how they could get their hands on a
Creedmoor-chambered gun. It was a
great experience, and a testament to
the virtues of the 6.5 mm Creedmoor.
-J.L. KURTENBACH



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - September 2017

Contents
American Rifleman - September 2017 - CW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - CW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Contents
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 3
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 4
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 5
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 6
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 7
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 8
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 9
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 10
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 11
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 12
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 13
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 14
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 15
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 16
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 17
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 18
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 19
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 20
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 21
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 22
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 23
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 24
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 25
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 26
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 27
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 28
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 29
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 30
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 31
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 32
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 33
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 34
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 35
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 36
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 37
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 38
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 39
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 40
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 41
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 42
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 43
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 44
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 45
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 46
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 47
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 48
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 49
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 50
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 51
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 52
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 53
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 54
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 55
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 56
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 57
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 58
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 59
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 60
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 61
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 62
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 63
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 64
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 65
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 66
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 67
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 69
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 70
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 71
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 72
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 73
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 74
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 75
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 76
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 77
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 78
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 79
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 80
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 81
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 82
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 83
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 84
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 85
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 86
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 87
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 88
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 89
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 90
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 91
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 92
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 93
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 94
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 95
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 96
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 97
American Rifleman - September 2017 - C1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - C2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - E1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - E2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - MW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - MW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - S1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - S2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - SW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - SW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - W1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - W2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 100
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 101
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 102
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 103
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 104
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 105
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 106
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 108
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 109
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 110
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 111
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 112
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 113
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 114
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover3
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover4
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